christmas cookie redux: chocomint macaroons

I’m on a kick to reinvent the cookie wheel – or at least my holiday cookie palate, which is by all standards friendly and reliable. I recently made over one of my Christmas favorites, sandbakkelse, turning it into a mazarin shortbread affair.

It was a rousing success. Hooping and hollering were heard from the rooftops, and children everywhere reaffirmed their faith in Santa, despite wondering what exactly ‘hooping’ was, and how it could be accomplished on a roof.

Today, we take a turn into the unfamiliar for me. Why? Because I hate peppermint. I have to suffer through minty freshness twice a day when toothbrushing, isn’t that enough? In this case, no, because the hoopers and hollerers among us were clamoring for more mint. And so I combined macaroons, which I love but had never made before, with chocolate, which is a zero-brainer, with peppermint, and turned the whole darn thing into a festive affair.

It’s like a Festivus….. for the rest of us.

Chocomint Macaroons.

Fluffy pillows of deep and rich chocolate, radiating the slightest hint of peppermint, in the form of pulverized candy canes. These cookies have the texture of a marshmallow; biting into each leads to the false presumption that the interior will be crunchy. Donnae be fooled, the inner workings of these macaroons are soft and dreamy.

I got a bit frilly with the decorations, but this is how my reduxing mind has put me to work in the kitchen.

And with that, let me deviate a bit and whimper excessively of my elevated stress. My eyes are sore from all the confused staring I do at my computer screen day in and day out. I’m incredibly frightened for next week, when I defend my master’s thesis work on

PREDICTING DYNAMICS OF EASTERN WHITE PINE

(Pinus strobus L.) ADVANCE REGENERATION UNDER

SHELTERWOOD SILVICULTURE

I hope to receive a minor amount of critical acclaim, emphasis on critical, from my student cohort, professors, and committee members. But I’m honestly quite excited to give a lengthy presentation, as theatrics are my strongest suit. Just don’t ask me where I’m headed next, or I might break down and eat fifteen Chocomint Macaroons in front of you.

In the words of Fergie, no no drama, no no no no drama. And the whimpering is done, thanks for indulging me.

Have I mentioned just how tasty these cookies are? After making them, you will have no no cookies, no no no no cookies, because they are so richly fantastic that you will devour them, despite their decadence.

Try and share these with friends, if you can. Otherwise, I’d recommend making them smaller than I did… I guess my eyes were a bit larger than my macaroon-full stomach. I just don’t have enough maca-room, if you will. As it were. Har har.

Chocomint Macaroons {original recipe}

Makes 15 generously proportioned macaroons

++Ingredients:++

4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 finely ground peppermint candy cane
3/4 c. sugar
3 c. loosely packed (or 2 1/2 c. moderately packed) shredded coconut
3 egg whites
3/4 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
Royal icing, for decoration
Roughly crushed peppermint candy cane piece, for decoration

++Directions:++

Heat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment, or (preferably) use a baking stone.

Add cocoa, egg whites, and ground peppermint candy to bowl of cooled melted chocolate. Mix, then add sugar, coconut, vanilla and salt, and incorporate thoroughly and splendiferously.

Style ~1 1/2 tbsp. of batter into a macaroon shape of your choosing. Preferably a spheroid haystack doohickey. Repeat. Did you know that doohickey is a real word? It doesn’t confuse the spellchecker… Did you know that spellcheck isn’t a word, but spellchecker is?

Place macaroons 1″ apart on baking sheet. Bake for around 20 minutes, or closer to 15 if you make these smaller. But c’mon now, go big or go ho-ho-home. Remove macaroons when the outside is a hardened shell, but the inside is still soft (you’ll know). Let cool on a baking sheet.

Royal Icing

++Ingredients:++

1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 egg white
1 cup+ powdered sugar

++Directions:++

Beat lemon juice and egg white until frothy. Incorporate powdered sugar slowly, continuing to add until the consistency becomes whipped cream-like. Add any food coloring and/or flavorings at this point.

Ice cookies as desired. While icing is still of liquid consistency, sprinkle crushed peppermint candy cane pieces on top, if you’re feeling cheery.

I have a few more Christmas Cookie Redux ideas up my sleeve, but next week is going to be a doozy. So stay tuned to see just how excellent at multitasking I may or may not be.

Cheers !

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24 thoughts on “christmas cookie redux: chocomint macaroons

  1. HUGGLE SNUGGLES! You’ll be amazing, Emma, and I’m sure that the positive feedback and c-mon-we-wanna-hear-you-talk-and-explain-more comments from the panel will only serve to shore up your confidence and inner strength. Wooooot! And then you’ll be done! Done done done, with glorious freedom and endless possibilities ahead for you! Possibilities like bring the boy and Psychic Cat to Australia! Wheeeeeeee! Hooooooooooooop from the rooftop!

    P.S. I’m very unsure of peppermint too. Usually I hate it, because a) I drank a capful of straight peppermint extract as a kid and it made me feel so wretchedly sick, and b) a peppermint rice pudding experiment is the one big fail of my blog so far. But I like the other parts of this recipe :)

    1. Hannah, yeah, huggle snuggles! Thank you for that, its sweetness is equal to all your other nice words that are presented in only a slightly less cutesy way:)

      Wooooooot but what if I do not passssssssss. Woot hoop, that would be sad. I have faith in my abilities, but it’s difficult to predict others sometimes:/

      Your peppermint story of yore is quite sad. Luckily peppermint extract was nowhere to be found in my house! I’m sure your recipe couldn’t have been as much of a flop as you make it out to be, you alabaster goddess;)

      1. Faith in yourself is something incredible, incredible, incredible to have, and you’re so well-placed in awesomeness to have that :D You will be FINE. Better than fine. STELLAR. Because no one could ever take that away from you, in any situation. FIST PUMP HEEL CLICK FOREVER.

        Oh, and it really was. It’s the only thing I’ve ever made where I felt sick eating it and had to throw it out. The liquid turned grainy, it was grey, and the peppermint flavour… *shudders at the memory*

    1. Victoria, it didn’t even cross my mind to label these as wheat-free, silly me:)

      I hope all is going well with cutting wheat out of your diet!

  2. Ooh. I usually just like my peppermint in cold things. Like ice cream or just a la carte, but maybe, just maybe I could eat this. I LOVE a macroon!

    Good luck on the thesis front!

    1. sarah, usually I like my peppermint to be nonexistent! This was really not all that minty, I kept things on the weak side. It could be made stronger, of course, but this was a good introduction. The peppermint mostly just accentuated the deep chocolate flavor.

      Thanks for the luck:D

    1. Adrian hehe! Your comment makes me giggle, I can only use hehe to attempt to display what my giggling truly sounds like. I might actually say frefre! but then you wouldn’t understand that, would you?

      I would trade all these macaroons (and more!) for one of your fruit trifles;)

  3. I just stumbled onto your blog (from Hannah’s site, actually). These are creative and delicious looking!

    Good luck defending your thesis. It looks like an interesting topic to me! And I don’t say that about many theses, but forests are definitely something near and dear to my heart, even if I now live in a place that has ‘bush’ instead of forest ;-)

    And I feel you on the eye soreness. I have been writing a journal article, and I think my brain believes staring at the screen as intensely as possible will make it easier. It definitely doesn’t! My optometrist was like, “I can give you glasses, but is there any way you can stop staring at the screen all day?” Um….want to talk to my boss? And then when I start my own thesis in 2 months, want to talk to my advisers? C’est la vie. Oh, the things we do to ourselves in the name of science.

    1. Sarah, welcome! What a lovely comment you’ve left me, I really appreciate it.

      I’m with you, theses are often quite dull-sounding; I think academia needs to learn how to jive things up in general! As bush is foreign to me, it sounds very intriguing, but I’ll admit that I probably prefer a nice lush forest. You do social science work? We’ve got a rather large contingent of 3(!) forest human dimensions grad students that all successfully defended last week. They’re a hard act to follow, that’s for sure.

      Hah about your optometrist story – I haven’t been to the eye doctor in years, as the grad student health insurance is quite poor here. I’m excited to go someday, as I know I’ll need to update my prescription.

      Good luck finishing up your article, and beginning your thesis. It’s a never-ending paper chase!

  4. I am up to my eyeballs in Christmas cookies! If I still have some on Thursday, I’ll bring you a plate to celebrate your success. If I don’t see you before, good luck with your defense!

    1. Brianne, that is so many cookies, gosh darn it! Aww, thanks:) I’ll see you Thursday if not before – during which I’ll be holed up, monotonously chanting my seminar presentation from dusk til dawn. Or maybe the other way around. Anyway, I wish I was making more cookies instead!

  5. I am intrigued! I’ve never made/tried macaroons before, mostly because I was under the impression they were crunchy cookies and being a soft-cookie fan I never pursued them. But soft and pillowy? Sign me up!

    Also, I thought it was “whooping and hollering”? I think that makes more sense…but I don’t know if that’s at all accurate. :D

    And finally – good luck on defending your thesis! Give ’em the ole’ razzle dazzle!

    1. Mary, interesting. I believe my regional variant growing up was ‘hoop and holler’, but perhaps this is just my idiolect. I see how hoop and whoop are pretty much the same, though, and southerners love to pronounce their w’s, right? After looking it up it looks like another option is ‘hoot and holler.’ I think we’re all right:)

      Mmm, language. Thanks for the good luck wishes – yeahhhh, razzle dazzle ! I better not start dancing and singing;)

      These are most definitely soft, although they get more chewy with age. Try ’em out sometime!

  6. Clever, clever post…very fun to read…If I made these, however,(and I think that I would like to) I would not, could not, use the peppermint–for, as you say, peppermint is nowhere to be found in the house. They look very pretty, and colorful, tho. Fluffy chocolate pillows sound wonderful!

    1. Mum, there’s nothing like a good Christmas pun, or three:)

      It’s funny, I have to convince myself eat time I eat one of these that I will like it, I’m that peppermint averse. And then I eat it and it’s delicious. But still, I guess I should stick to other cookies that don’t fill me with (misplaced) dread.

      Make them with a little bit of orange flavoring, I bet that would be very good that way. Or just let the chocolate and vanilla do their thing. Orrrrr spend your time procuring me twelve pounds of rum balls. It’s up to you;)

      1. Wellllllll, nothing quite like twelve pounds, but I do have in my magic bag a few, and they will be boxed up and sent to you directly:-)
        (I love the idea of orange flavoring, or ooooo, maybe some chopped fine macadamia nuts?)

        1. YYYYYYYAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!! That’s most exciting.

          Ooh macadamia nuts sound fantastic! …for those of us who are lucky enough to possess any. Not me:D

  7. Hooorah for peppermint suspicion being overcome via the medium of holiday-themed sweet treats! These look beautiful, I love their stripy icing.

    All the very, very best for your thesis. I, for one, am quite convinced.

    1. Laura, yes, to overcoming the suspicion! …Although I have it again. I should just dive in, I know it…

      Aww, thanks:) Well if you’re convinced, I’ll leave the multivariate ordination of understory herbaceous vegetation off the table. For now!

  8. Emma,

    I think you have created the new official cookie for Festivus:) Love the flavor combo!

    And I wish you so much luck in defending your thesis. I’m sure you will rock it!

    xo
    E

    1. Erin, ha hah! I’d hate to see what the Seinfeld gang would do to these cookies, knowing how they can butcher marble rye, cinnamon babka, muffin tops, and of course, soup.

      Thanks for the wishes! I hope to rock it well:)

  9. I have finally brainwashed my palette into liking coconut, so I can guess that I’d like these! Maybe you can do the same with peppermint? I’m into it, but less so with spearmint and wintergreen flavors… These look so festive!

And now I'd like to pass the mic / So you c'mon and do anything you like ...aka, Leave your reply.

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